1999 UBCM News - March News...¢ 2017-03-30¢ 2 UBCM NEWS MARCH 1999 PRESIDENT'S...
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NEWSin this issue... UBCM NEWS is published by Union of British Columbia Municipalities 15 – 10551 Shellbridge Way Richmond, B.C. Canada V6X 2W9 (604) 270-8226 fax: (604) 270-9116
Number 186 March 1999
Union of British Columbia Municipalities
UBCM Page ....................... 2 Around the Province .......... 3 Area Associations .............. 4 Policy Updates ................ 5-6 UBCM Committees .......... 10 Justice & Protective Services ...................... 11-12 Environment Policy .......... 13 Financial Policy ................ 14 Aboriginal Update ....... 15-16 Courses and Resources .. 17 Member Services ............. 19
Gaming Policy Review ....... 6 Cutback Recap ............... 7-8 Legislation Symposium ...... 9 Property Assessment Appeal .............................. 14 MFA ................................. 18 Civic Net ........................... 19 Street Wise ...................... 20
UBCM Celebrates the Early Renewal of 100% Membership
Municipal Pension Plan Makes Huge Gains Unfunded Liability reduced by $761 Million
UBCM’s 1999 Net¥Work¥Book Will Be Available Soon!! (See page 3 for more information and order form)
Independent actuary to the Municipal Pension Plan, Jack Levi of Ekler Partners, said in delivering his report to the Municipal Pension Board on March 16th, “Huge gains have been made in the financial situation of the plan since the last valuation”.
The Legislation requires that an actuarial valuation of the Municipal Pension Plan be conducted at least once every three years. Mr. Levy was presenting the valuation as of December 31, 1997.
His comments were directed at a chronic problem of the Plan in recent times - the massive unfunded liability. In other words, the pension promises to employees didn’t have sufficient assets to back them up.
However, employees and employers should be relieved to know that there has been a dramatic turna- round in the financial situation of the Municipal Pen- sion Plan.
On all of the three following measures the un- funded liability has been reduced: • Unfunded liability was $1.3 billion as of December 31, 1994 and reduced to $548 million as of December 31, 1997. This is a reduction of over $760 million in just three years. • the Funded Ratio (Basic Account divided by total accrued liabilities) has increased from 84% to 96% since the last valuation and • the ratio of the unfunded actuarial liability to covered payroll has decreased from 36% to 14% from 1994 to 1997 respectively.
Jack Levi said about the next valuation, “If the market doesn’t crash we should see a surplus at the December 31, 2000 Valuation”.
Two main contributors to the improvements in the plan are investment returns and actual salary increases that are lower than assumed in previous actuarial valuations.
Inside Policy Summary
• UBCM members to be consulted on whether they want changes to the nomination/election process for small community and electoral area representative on the UBCM Executive. (page 2)
• School site acquisition update. (page 5) • taxation of Band owned lands. (page 5) • UBCM response to gaming policy white paper highlights need
for local determination. (page 6) • municipal support needed to address secondhand smoke. (pp 7) • “policy shorts” comments on mixed use assessments; Home-
owner Protection Office; airport capital financing; crown land policies for port devolution and the Rhodes Report on Ministry of Environment/Fisheries potentional reorganization.(page 9)
• UBCM-COFI protocol on notification of mill closures concluded. (page 10)
• local government to be consulted on liquor policy. (page 11) • future of auxiliary policy uncertain. (page 11) • federal government restores funding for RCMP. (page 12) • contaminated sites legislation and regulations under review.
(page 13) • streamside directives now not expected until spring 2000 - but
what happens in the interim. (page 13) • exit from retail policy one of the unresolved issues in the
beverage containers. (page 15) • Parliament passes First Nations Land Management legislation
despite concerns of local government. (page 15) • Sechelt AIP provides opportunity for municipalities to veto future
additions to “treaty settlement lands”. (page 15) • update on Tri-partite talks on the effectiveness of the treaty
process (page 15) • fast tract treaties proposal (page 16) • UBCM severs its relationship with Certified Professional pro-
gram. (page 19)
Poll Shows that a Majority of British Columbians Support The UBCM Position for Local Control Over Gaming Expansion
The results of the most recent valuation continue and accelerate the financial performance since 1994. Legislation was amended in 1994 to allow diversifica- tion of investments which has been key, along with lower salary increases and reduced inflation, to the plans recent healthy financial performance. Looking over that time span, the leading indicators show:
1991 1994 1997 Unfunded Liability (billion) 1.4 1.3 .548 Funded Ratio 80% 84% 96% Unfunded Liability as % of covered payroll 49.6% 36% 14%
Not included in the valuation is the Inflation Ad- justment Account which provides pension indexing if funds are available. The most recent Annual Report (1997) of the Municipal Pension Plan provides infor- mation on the balance in the Inflation Adjustment Account which stands now at $1.78 billion.
The actuarial valuation is good news for both em- ployers and employees. For employers it offers the prospect of removing those troubling cautionary notes from financial statements regarding a potential un- funded and difficult to quantify financial liability. It also suggests that contribution rate increases are not immediately required to deal with this issue as the unfunded liability disappears. For employees it lifts any clouds they may have felt. For both employers and employees the improving financial condition pro- vides a better atmosphere to talk about the future.
Continued on page 10
MarkTrend poll shows that a clear majority of British Columbians fa- vour local control over gaming expansion. A 60% support for local govern- ment support is a clear vin- dication that what we have been saying in our policy reports and telling the Pro- vincial Government is re- flective of the community views said Mayor John Les, Chair of the UBCM Gam-
Minister Accepts UBCM Recommendation
Minister responsible for Gaming, the Honourable Michael Farnworth issued a release on March 10th extending the deadline for comments/submissions on the white paper on gaming until April 15th. UBCM had requested an extension and this was ac- knowledged in the Minis- ter's release.
For more information on UBCM gaming policy considerations please see page 6.
ing Committee. The response to the
questions: The Provincial Govern-
ment recently proposed legislation that will allow it to override municipal by-laws that restrict casino expansion and slot ma- chines. Do you support or oppose this action by the Provincial Government? By a 60% to 26% margin, British Columbians oppose the Provin-
cial Government’s recent legis- lation which allows it to override municipal by-laws that restrict casino expansion and slot ma- chines. British Columbians are fairly united in their opposition as a full majority of residents in all demographic groups express their disapproval of this legisla- tion. As one may expect, oppo- sition is particularly high among the province’s seniors, of whom 80% express opposition while just 12% lend their support.
The survey was com- missioned by UBCM and was conducted between February 11-16, 1999. (The survey of 506 residents across the province is con- sidered accurate to within ±4.4% nineteen times out of twenty.) See page 6.
The top priority of UBCM is reviewed in the over- view: “Cutback Review”, and articles on four topics: • Legal Analysis • In tergovernmenta l Transfers Report Updated • Local Government
Government Agrees to UBCM Request for Input on Liquor Policy
Minister Joy MacPhail has announced that govern- ment will seek input on proposed new liquor policy. UBCM had objected to the development of new liquor policy without the involvement of local government, public and other parties such as police. Minister MacPhail said that government is prepared to accept the new policies subject to successful consultations with municipalities. Consultant Jo Surich will con- duct the review and details are being sent to all UBCM members (see page 11 for more details on the policy considerations).
Rated Good Financial Managers • Cumulative Impacts
Also featured is the Minister of Municipal Af- fairs response to five ques- tions UBCM asked on funding issues.
Cutback Recap - Feature Pages 7-8
2 UBCM NEWS MARCH 1999
Mayor John Ranta President
UBCM Dues 100% UBCM Membership Renewals
All of BC’s municipalities and regional districts re- newed their membership in the UBCM for the 20th consecutive year. This is one of the earliest dates for 100% membership renewal in several years. President Ranta indicated this reflects membership solidarity and a strong commitment to work together. Thank- you for your continued support.
1999 Member Visits
~ DECEMBER ~
1 Memo - President’s Mes- sage: '99 UBCM Member- ship Memo - Updated Network Book Information Memo - Group Benefit As- sociation Plan